We realigned a 1,000-foot section of SR 542 near Glacier Springs in Whatcom County in February and March 2015.
During a late November and early December 2014, runoff in the Nooksack River from heavy rainfall eroded several feet of a bluff at the eastbound shoulder of SR 542. The erosion continued into the winter. As a safety precaution, on Feb. 8, 2015 WSDOT reduced a 1,000-foot section of SR 542 to one lane controlled by temporary signals. On Feb. 19, 2015 contractor crews began building a 1,000-foot long, two-lane section of highway to realign SR 542 approximately 100 feet northeast of the bluff. The newly realigned highway opened to drivers March 19, 2015.
Realigning SR 542 moved the highway farther from the bluff, ensuring both lanes could remain open. SR 542 is the only road link to eastern Whatcom County for emergency vehicles, residents and tourists.
| Protects Environment
Moving SR 542 away from the Nooksack River allowed contractor crews to remove the pavement near the top of the bluff and replant the area with native grasses, shrubs and trees. If the bluff continues to erode, removing the asphalt will keep it from falling into the river.
Partnerships & Cooperation
The Whatcom County Department of Emergency Management and the Mount Baker Ski Area worked with WSDOT to keep the public informed about the emergency lane closure and progress on realigning the highway.
This project received $3 million in emergency relief funds from the Federal Highway Administration
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